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THE IMPERIAL COLLECTION would like to offer for your consideration the best reference on miniature firearms that exists. My father took years compiling the data and professional photography to produce this timeless reference. This miniature 1/2 scale book is full of beautiful full color photos of some of the finest miniatures in the world with captions in 6 point print and is 4 3/4" X 6 1/4". This exceptional book is hardbound, with color slip cover, 335 full color pages on heavy glossy high quality acid free paper stock. The full sized book is 9 1/2" X 12 1/4" (available as well but sold separately) with 12 point print and is the same high quality in every way. A must have for the miniature $35.00
About the IMPERIAL COLLECTION:
Joel Morrow has spent decades collecting some of the most fascinating items from around the world and only now are they available for purchase. Having traveled to all corners of the globe, he has amassed an incredible collection of miniature firearms/guns, art, rugs, artifacts and other highly collectable items. He literally wrote the book on miniature guns and firearms - publishing a hardback book to document all the facets of fine miniature guns, miniature firearms and other miniature paraphernalia such as knives, cannons, spears and Gatlin guns. Mr. Morrow is one of the most respected names in the field of arms - having spent considerable time and money advancing the Texas Gun Collectors, Safari Club North America and Miniature Arms Society organizations. Now, a portion of his collection is for sale for the first time. Feel free to scroll through the pages of this site to find some incredible things - many of which will never be replicated. Please call with any questions.
A Summary of Miniature Firearms/Guns:
Miniature arms/guns are defined in a variety of ways, but in the most pragmatic terms they are reduced versions of full-sized arms, replicated in every detail. Miniature arms should not be confused with the respected craft of the military miniaturist, who paints miniature figures that have been case in metal or plastic, and are collected individually or to create dioramas. While miniature arms are also scale models, they do not differ in function, design, or components from the full-sized arms they replicate. Historically, the production of actual arms in miniature dates back to the sixteenth century. Weapons were replicated in absolute accuracy to serve two functions. In the early days of the European medieval guild system, a journeyman gunsmith, cutler or armorer was required to fabricate in exact miniature a fully workable gun, sword, or suit of armor, in order to attain the rank of ‘master’ in his trade. Such undertakings demanded both the artisan’s skills and knowledge of arms-making, as well as imaginative innovation, as the journeyman had to contrive methods for developing small components. Due to the rigor and discipline inherent in such work, many miniatures were neither completed nor approved, and only a limited number of journeymen became masters of their trade. Once they gained recognition, masters were rarely idle, for the second important function of miniatures was for marketing the full-sized weapons. The logistics of traveling with full scale arms was clearly impossible, and miniatures enabled merchants to market their masters wares over long distances. Allowing potential customers to see for themselves the actual range and quality of a masters craft, miniature arms samples increased the number of sales, particularly if an arms merchant parted with one or tow of the prized models as incentive for a large order. Four centuries later, we are still enchanted by the irresistible appeal of anything miniature. The scarcity of real miniature arms only increases their desirability as collectible items. SCALES FOR MINIATURE ARMS/GUNS: The size of miniature arms in expressed in ‘scale’ values. A scale value of 1/3 means that all three dimensions of miniature - length, width and height or depth- have been reduced to any-third of the dimensions of the full-sized object. Scale values of miniature arms very depending on the classification of types of miniature arms, and they are limited by the complexity of the full-sized weapon- since the miniature must be exact in every detail. For example, a firearm shown with military miniature figure may be as small as a 1/35 scale, but since the craft of the military miniaturist is representational only, such a firearm is usually a casting that is painted to appear as a full-sized weapon. In contrast, a true miniature firearm is limited to a scale generally no smaller than 1/8, enabling it to possess all the internal and external components, which can function together as an integrated system. Firearms as miniature arms may be as large as ¾ scale, but the most popular sizes among collectors are ½ and 1/3 scale pieces. Representations of virtually every ignition system every used, including matchlock, wheel-lock, flintlock, percussion, and cartridge systems, appear in miniature firearms. Although commercial ammunition may be used in some larger-scale pieces, cartridges for miniatures as small as 1/3 or ¼ scale must be produced by the miniature arms maker. The size of hand weapons as miniature arms generally follows the same scale values of firearms, although hand weapons are usually less complex. Some of the more simple hand weapons, such as daggers and knives, may be reproduced in scales less than 1/8; however, ornate scrollwork and engraving exactly replicated in swords and maces impose the same type of scale restrictions as do the complex internal systems of firearms. Cannon as miniature arms are sometimes large as ¼ scale, so that a barrel with a 5 inch bore mounted on a carriage with wheels 4 feet in diameter would appear in miniature as a barrel bored to 1-¼ inches on a carriage with wheels 1 foot in diameter. Miniature suits of armor must be fully articulating and detailed with real rivets and seams, just as they were during the days of Ivanhoe and Camelot. This detailing means that miniature suits of armor very from 1/3 to 1/8 scale. According to these scales, a miniature armored suit for a six foot man would be either two feet or nine inches long, easy enough to transport even by a sixteenth- century arms merchant. MAKING MINIATURE ARMS/GUNS: The current rate of production or manufacture of miniature arms has hardly changed since the sixteenth century. Just as medieval arms masters were few and far between, there are relatively few people engaged in this craft today. There are perhaps only several hundred craftpersons who make miniature arms for their own collections or to sell. Unlike full-sized arms, the production of miniature arms rarely takes place in a factor environment. One rare exception to this is an Italian manufacturer who produces a series of ½ scale percussion an cartridge revolvers under a special licensing agreement with Colt firearms. Although considered a factory production miniatures, these guns are mostly hand-fitted and assembled with expert craftsmanship and fine attention to precision and detail. In most cases in involving the commercial production of name brand miniature arms such as hand guns, an individual craftsperson is contracted to make a very limited number, usually only four or five pieces. COLLECTING MINIATURE ARMS/GUNS: Collecting miniatures is a fascinating hobby, both in terms of the beauty and craftsmanship of the objects, and because of the challenge of the chase. Given their limited variety and availability, the hunt for miniatures can become quite an obsession. A few hobbyists can boast collections that reach into the hundreds, but the average collector might have just fifteen pieces. The unique nature of each miniature arm forestalls the usual pricing scales of other kinds of collections, such as weapons, coins, or antiques. Like painting or sculpture, most miniature arms are valued on an individual basis. Some collectors enjoy the beauty of their miniature arms while at the same time secure in the knowledge that their collection is constantly increasing in value. Perhaps the most expensive miniature arm in existence is a 1/3 scale miniature of elaborate Flintstock pistol commissioned by Napoleon for this brother, King Joseph of Spain. The full-scale gun was make by the French master gunsmith, Boutet, and is lavishly decorated in bronze and silver with eagles, elaborate groupings of arms - including the Spanish coat of arms - with 150 gold stars inlaid into the barrel. The 1/3 scale miniature was made by an American craftsman in 1962 and was reproduced so exquisitely that is currently valued at over $1,000,000.00. Advances in technology since the sixteenth century have make available a host of helpful aids to the modern miniature maker. Consequently, the fabrication of miniature arms in the future will continue with more and more pieces for the collector.
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